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president joe biden. yep. that's right. joe biden is the latest person to be called on to try to get congress out of the straight jacket they've put themselves in. the vp and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell exchanged phone calls until midnight last night and again this morning, and appeared to be zeroing in on a tax rate compromise in the region of a $450,000 to $550,000 threshold. a higher rate than the president's earlier compromise as well as an agreement on the estate tax. sticking points remain. president obama seemed resigned to going over the cliff. >> if all else fails, if republicans do, in fact, decide to block it so that taxes on middle class families do, in fact, go up on january 1st, then on january 4th the first bill to be introduced on the floor will be to cut taxes on middle class families. >> and this morning former white house spokesman robert gibbs was even more blunt. >> the republicans simply can't utter the word yes. they cannot utter the word yes. i mean, i feel like it's -- i feel like you're talking to a 5-year-old, and, you know, you're saying, look,
're not telling the senate what to do. for majority leader reid, we encourage him. >> senator, joe biden is, of course, president of the senate. he has a constitutional role. he could cast a deciding vote and he is currently on the side of the administration in beating badge challenges to the filibuster in federal court. at least this vice president has taken some stands here, hasn't he? >> well, not if terms of the framework of what we're about to do. and indeed, we would be as vice president, he could do a couple of things on a constitutional issue. he can say those are by normal protocol referred to the body. so if you have 51 members who vote, that becomes the ruling. so he can either make a ruling himself and then we sustain or overturn it or he can turn the ruling back to the body, which is what was done in 1975. >> understood. steve is going to give us our last question today. >> sort of a skeptical one. even people appreciate the idea of what you're doing. i think the point is you get the talking filibuster. it will be a novelty at first. some people on c span 2 would get a kick out
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